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MTL@TBL: Five things you need to know

The Canadiens get their traditional late-December southern trip underway with a stop in Tampa on Saturday

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Saturday night's game against the Lightning at Amalie Arena.

1. The Habs get back to work for the first time since pausing for Christmas. Before the break, Claude Julien troops closed out their trip to Western Canada on a high note, beating the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 at Bell MTS Place. In the win, center Phillip Danault and winger Tomas Tatar each contributed a pair of goals, while Max Domi and Artturi Lehkonen rounded out the scoring for Montreal. In net, Carey Price stopped 27 of 29 shots, helping Montreal to earn six of a possible eight points on the voyage.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: ICYMI: The Canadiens closed out their Western Canada road trip in style with a win over the Jets in Winnipeg.WATCH ������ https://t.co/pLf0anGguT#GoHabsGo

2. Lots of Canadiens forwards padded their stats on the trip out West, starting with Max Domi, who collected at least a point in each of the four road games the Habs played. The 24-year-old center is currently riding a three-game goal-scoring streak, and collected six points in four games. Danault reached the 10-goal mark on the trip, the third time he's done so in his career. The Victoriaville native has three goals in his last two games. Meanwhile, Nick Suzuki earned four points in his last three contests.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Max Domi ��tait tout feu, tout FLAMME apr��s avoir marqu�� le but gagnant @EASportsNHL �� 3 contre 3! 😏Max Domi was FIRED up after scoring tonight's @EASportsNHL 3-on-3 winner!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/oLuAL5aIME

3. Following Saturday's morning skate at Amalie Arena, Julien confirmed that Jesperi Kotkaniemi would make his return against the Lightning. The 19-year-old center hasn't seen action since December 5 against the Colorado Avalanche. The Finn will center the third line between Jordan Weal and Nick Cousins.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Claude Julien confirme que Kotkaniemi sera de retour ce soir contre Tampa. Ce sera le seul changement dans la formation.Claude Julien confirms that Kotkaniemi will return to action tonight against Tampa. That will be the only lineup change for the game.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/46kneW2aU7

4. The Lightning are also getting back to action for the first time since the holiday break. Jon Cooper's squad won its final game before the vacation 6-1 over the Florida Panthers. Center Brayden Point led the way in that tilt, providing one goal and three assists in a winning cause. Forward Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Victor Hedman also enjoyed three-point nights. Kucherov leads Tampa with 40 points this season, while captain Steven Stamkos is tied with Hedman for second place with 32 points apiece. Point, meanwhile, leads the Lightning with 14 goals.

5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can catch all the action on television on City, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet 360, and TVA Sports, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio. The Habs will head to Sunrise directly following the game, as they face the Panthers on Sunday evening.

 

   

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